Werenowski

Fighting for your rights!

Specialist in Employment Law and Discrimination at Work

Redundancies

We know how to challenge unfair redundancy and get you the best deal.

Unfair dismissal

Unfair dismissal, including automatic unfair dismissal and constructive dismissal.

Discrimination

Discrimination, especially race, maternity and disability discrimination.

Wages & Pay

Unlawful deduction of wages and holiday pay claims.

Personal. Professional. Proven Results.

“I recommend Leszek Werenowski, he won our claim in the Employment Tribunal after a long fierce fight.” - Zbigniew B

Redundancies

If you’re at risk of redundancy or have been made redundant, there are employment laws to ensure you’re treated fairly.

Talking to Leszek Werenowski could save your job, or make sure you receive your entitled redundancy pay or help you claim for redundancy.

Being made redundant isn’t the same thing as being sacked. It isn’t a result of anything you’ve done wrong. It should only happen when your role is ceasing to exist. There are number of rights you should be made aware of if you’re facing an looming redundancy.

The onus is on your employer to make sure you are treated fairly and receive everything you are due. This ranges from exploring the option of suitable alternative employment where possible, to making sure you receive the full financial package that your years of service have earned you.

It’s also important to understand that if you’re facing redundancy, you may be able to challenge the fact that you’ve been selected, if you believe this has happened due to discrimination rather than for some fair and objective reason.

If you’ve been notified that you’re about to be made redundant, speak to Leszek Werenowski who has 30 years of experience being a lawyer.

If the entire workforce is being made redundant because where you work at is closing, selection isn’t an issue. However, if only a certain percentage of the workforce is being made redundant, you’ve the right to question the basis on which you have been selected.

Employers are entitled to use objective factors such as disciplinary records or worker appraisal scores in their selection process. But they’re not entitled to discriminate on the basis of race, disability, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religious beliefs, membership of a trade union, maternity or paternity leave, pregnancy, or whistleblowing. If for example only or mainly Poles are being made redundant that might be an example of direct race discrimination.

The law demands that you receive a proper notice period before being made redundant. These are currently:

  1. At least a week if you’ve worked for your employer for between one month and two years
  2. One week for each year if you’ve been employed for between two and 12 years
  3. 12 weeks’ notice if you’ve been employed for 12 years or more. But your employment contract may specify more than this statutory minimum, but it can’t specify less.
  4. Your contract may also state that your employment can be ended without notice if ‘payment in lieu of notice’ is given instead. This means that, for example, if you should have received 12 weeks’ notice but received none, you would be entitled to 12 weeks’ pay, in addition to any redundancy payments that you’re owed.

Yes. The law says that you have a right to ‘consultation’ with your employer if you’re about to be made redundant. This is your chance to hear the reasons behind your redundancy, and to discuss the possibility of alternatives to this route, such as re-deployment or re-training. If your employer hasn’t offered you any consultation, you may be able to take your case to an employment tribunal. We are expecting a significant increase in redundancies once the Furlough Scheme ends. Sometimes an employer might get the redundancy procedure wrong and securing legal advice on this early is vital. Remember claims for dismissal by way of redundancy must be brought within 3 months, that being 3 months less one day unless Early Conciliation with ACAS is applied for where an extra month to bring any claim may be added. After that time you are likely to be too late and will receive no compensation.

Under British employment law, you’re entitled to statutory redundancy pay if you’ve been with your employer for at least two years. How much you’ll actually receive depends on your age:

— Half a weeks’ pay for each full year of employment in which you were under the age of 22

  • One weeks’ pay for each full year of employment between the ages of 22 and 40 inclusive
  • 1.5 weeks’ pay for each full year of employment in which you were not below the age of 41

These weekly payments are capped at £525, and the maximum amount of statutory redundancy pay is limited to £15,750 at present. These figures are liable to change over time.

These are statutory amounts though, and it’s possible that your contract will entitle you to receive more than this. It’s always worth checking.

It’s also important to know that if your total redundancy package comes to less than £30,000, the whole amount is tax-free.

It’s very important that you get all the money you’re owed if you’re being made redundant, as it may have to last for a while until you find another job. If you’re being made redundant, make sure you’re getting all of the rights and redundancy payments you’re entitled to by law.

Call Leszek Werenowski to discuss your situation.

Unfair dismissal

Unfair dismissal, including automatic unfair dismissal and constructive dismissal.

If you’ve worked for an employer continuously for at least two years, you’ve a number of legal rights. These mean that you cannot be dismissed without a fair reason. Fair reasons in the eyes of the law include:

  • Capability: Where your health or abilities are not up to the demands of your role. Usually there will need to be meetings and warnings.
  • Conduct:For example, where you’re consistently late, abusive to others or frequently absent. 
  • Redundancy: Where roles no longer exist or there’s a reduced requirement for a particular role of type of work, and you’ve been selected for redundancy based on fair criteria and a fair selection process
  • Breach of statute: For example, where an employee who needs to drive as part of their job is disqualified from driving, although driving would likely have to be an essential or at least significant part of their duties for the dismissal to be potentially fair
  • Some other substantial reason: Which may include personality clashes with important clients or colleagues as well as reorganisation of a business such as a significant change to terms and conditions of employment.

If you’ve had to resign because of unfair treatment in the workplace, or unfairly dismissed you need to act right away. That’s because you have only three months, less one day, from the date of your unfair or constructive dismissal to file a claim.

You usually need to start the mandatory Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service ‘ACAS’ Early Conciliation process before the time limit. This process is compulsory for most claims and must be completed and a certificate issues by ACAS before you can lodge a claim with the Employment Tribunal. The aim is to try and resolve matters. Sometimes it does.

Starting the ACAS Early Consolidation process may operate to extend the time limit for lodging an Employment Tribunal claim. The process makes the calculation of time limits in Employment Tribunal cases more complicated. You should seek legal advice promptly. Where ACAS Early Conciliation fails, we’re here to help you to make an unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal claim at an employment tribunal.

Constructive dismissal – occurs when your employer has treated you so badly that you’ve no choice but to resign. This can happen for contractual reasons, such as when you’ve not been paid, but it can also happen because you’ve been subjected to discrimination, victimisation or harassment in the workplace or if the trust and confidence in the employment relationship has fundamentally broken down.

It’s a complicated aspect of employment law where care is needed. Usually the breakdown of the employment relationship needs to go to the root of the employment contract. Minor matters usually are not enough unless they add up until the last act is the “last straw”.

If you believe that your position at work has become untenable, it’s a good idea to talk to Leszek Werenowski an experienced employment solicitor to find out if you may be able to resign and then bring a constructive dismissal claim.

Alternatively, if you’ve already been forced out of your job, or unfairly dismissed in some other way, Leszek Werenowski is always happy to guide and advise you. 

Unfortunately, many people find themselves in a position at work where they feel unsafe, harassed or bullied; sometimes by colleagues and sometimes by managers. When this happens and your employer won’t act to protect you, you may be entitled to resign and bring a claim for constructive dismissal. In fact, all of the situations listed below could lead to a constructive dismissal claim if your employer:

  • Hasn’t taken steps to stop people harassing or bullying you 
  • Has demoted you without just cause
  • Has not paid you
  • Has made unreasonable changes to your working conditions 
  • Failed to provide a safe working environment
  • Hasn’t provided you with the support you needed to perform your role
  • Withdrawn important benefits set out in your employment contract

As long as you’ve worked there for at least two years, you may be able to bring a constructive dismissal claim. However, this is a big step, requiring substantial evidence, which should only be taken after careful consideration and as a last resort. In the first instance, you should speak to one of our friendly, specialist employment solicitors as soon as possible, ideally before you resign.

If you’ve had to resign because of unfair treatment in the workplace, or unfairly dismissed you need to act right away. That’s because you have only three months, less one day, from the date of your unfair or constructive dismissal to file a claim. You must start the mandatory Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service ‘ACAS’ Early Conciliation process before the time limit. This process is compulsory for most claims and must be completed and a certificate issues by ACAS before you can lodge a claim with the Employment Tribunal. The aim is to try and resolve matters.

Starting the ACAS Early Consolidation process may operate to extend the time limit for lodging an Employment Tribunal claim. The process makes the calculation of time limits in Employment Tribunal cases more complicated. You should seek legal advice promptly. Where ACAS Early Conciliation fails, we’re here to help you to make an unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal claim at an employment tribunal.

Some dismissals are automatically unfair, and you do not have to have worked for 2 years to qualify as you normally would.

There is no need to show that the employer acted unreasonably or failed to follow a fair procedure. This makes it significantly easier for an individual to win the case against their ex-employer.

It is important to appreciate that the reason why someone was dismissed from work must be for one of these reasons. It is not always an easy thing to demonstrate factually. The main categories we deal with where it is automatically unfair to dismiss someone for a reason connected to:

  • health and safety.
  • pregnancy, childbirth or statutory parental leave rights
  • whistleblowing i.e. for making a protected disclosure
  • asserting rights under the Working Time Regulations or National Minimum Wage Regulations
  • breach of an exclusivity clause in a zero hours contract
  • requesting to work flexibly
  • carrying out jury service
  • blacklisting (concerning trade union membership)
  • an employer’s duties under the auto-enrolment pension regime or the contravention of those duties
  • status as a part-time or fixed-term employee
  • trade union membership (or non-membership) or participation in trade union activities or protected industrial action

Where one of these reasons applies and automatic unfair dismissal is established, procedural unfairness (how disciplinaries were conducted etc.) are not relevant. Furthermore, in normal unfair dismissal cases, the Tribunal needs to consider if the motive was fair, and then go on to consider whether, in all the circumstances, the action was fair. These considerations will not apply in automatic unfair dismissal cases.

Making a claim of automatic unfair dismissal can be a good approach for an individual to take, not just because the two-year rule does not apply, but also because it can be a simpler claim to prove to an employment tribunal than a claim for ordinary unfair dismissal.

In normal unfair dismissal claim, the true reasoning for the action will be considered and whether it was fair, that is was it one of the five fair reasons laid down in the legislation (conduct, capability, redundancy, illegality or some other substantial reason) and was this really why the employer dismissed in this case?

Even where an employer can show it had potentially fair reasoning for the dismissal from work, a tribunal will then go on to consider if dismissing the employee was a fair action or not. This involves an assessment of whether the employer acted reasonably, including whether or not it followed a fair procedure when carrying out the dismissal.

Be in no doubt that this is a  complex approach to deciding ordinary cases, and an employee may find themselves having to produce a lot of evidence and presenting a lot of different arguments to prove their case.

In automatic unfair dismissal, all an individual needs to prove is that the cause for their dismissal from work was one of the automatically unfair reasons.

 

Once the employee has satisfied a tribunal that this was the case, the dismissal will automatically be treated as unfair. No further consideration will go on to determine whether the employer acted reasonably in dismissing or the procedural fairness of the action, as this will no longer be relevant.

If an ex-employee can show that they were automatically unfairly dismissed for a reason related to whistleblowing or health and safety, a further advantage is that the usual compensation cap for unfair dismissal does not apply. However, the cap applies to all other types of automatic unfair dismissal claim.

Discrimination

Discrimination, especially race, maternity and disability discrimination.

The Equality Act 2010 set out nine protected characteristics. This means that it’s illegal for you to be discriminated against on the basis of:

  • Race
  • Disability
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Marriage or Civil Partnership (As related to your employment)
  • Pregnancy and Maternity
  • Religion or Belief
  • Sexual Orientation

Unfortunately, people often suffer workplace bullying and harassment in relation to these characteristics. Just as significantly, many people suffer unlawful discrimination at work, which means that they receive less favourable treatment because of these protected characteristics. Examples of unlawful discrimination in the workplace include:

  • Unequal pay: Where someone is paid less than others doing the same work on the basis of a protected characteristic; commonly where women are paid less than men doing the same job.
  • Unfair rules: Such as segregation at work according to race. Or one race is allowed to talk at work, but another is not. Or one race is given a lot of work, but another race are allowed to be indolent.
  • Age discrimination: Such as when a worker over the age of 50 is selected for redundancy in preference to a younger worker with less experience and ability.
  • Maternity discrimination: Such as a pregnant employee is dismissed for poor attendance due to her pregnancy.

Unfortunately, there are many other examples of discriminatory practices in the workplace. If you feel that you’ve been treated unfairly at work due to race disability gender, age, pregnancy, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership, gender reassignment, religion or beliefs, you may have a case for discrimination against your employer.

It’s not just unfair for you to be discriminated against in the workplace, it’s also unlawful. That’s why Leszek Werenowski is here to help you at every stage. In the first instance this can mean advising you on how to make a formal complaint, known as a grievance to your manager or Head of Human Resources. Negotiating your company’s grievance procedure may not be straightforward and having expert legal experience on hand can help to make sure that your rights are fully respected.

In cases where the discrimination has been too serious to allow for an amicable resolution, Leszek Werenowski is also highly experienced in negotiating favourable severance packages, should you wish to leave your current employer and move on to a company that offers a fairer and a more just working environment.

You can also rest assured that where your employer’s internal procedures can’t help you to obtain a fair resolution and you feel that you must resign, Leszek Werenowski has extensive experience of supporting his clients by issuing proceedings for constructive dismissal at employment tribunals. It’s often essential to take legal advice before taking the step of resigning.

You’ve the right to be treated fairly and decently in the workplace. If you’re being bullied or harassed – whether covertly or overtly – the law is on your side when you decide to take a stand. So is Leszek Werenowski.

In the first instance, we can advise you on the first steps you can take to help stop this unfair treatment at work. However, if you continue to be bullied or discriminated against by groups or individuals in the workplace, we’re also here to help you seek formal legal solutions including taking your employer to an Employment Tribunal.

While many people consider a certain amount of ‘chitchat’ at work to be reasonable, the fact is that it’s all too common for such chitchat to cross the line between being a little joke and turning into unpleasant bullying. Examples of mistreatment in the workplace can include:

  • Swearing, that sometimes involves mentioning your race, or racial stereotypes.
  • Undue criticism, particularly in front of others
  • Being unfairly excluded from team activities, meetings and emails
  • Constant teasing, verbal abuse or sexual innuendo
  • Threats with regard to your job security
  • Being humiliated, laughed at or demeaned especially in front of others

In addition to these common but unpleasant forms of bullying, many people experience harassment in the workplace.

The definition of harassment under the Equality Act 2010 is:

“Unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual”.

These protected characteristics mean that the Act covers bullying with regard to:

  • Race
  • Disability
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Marriage or Civil Partnership (As related to your employment)
  • Pregnancy and Maternity
  • Religion or Belief
  • Sexual Orientation

 

Importantly, discriminatory jokes or comments about any of these protected characteristics don’t have to be directed towards you in order to constitute harassment. If they’re made in your earshot, even unintentionally, they can potentially still count as harassment.

Also if you are for example called “Gay” or mistreated as such when you are not, perceived discrimination is equally wrong, and equally actionable.

If you feel that it’s safe for you to do so, you may wish to begin by speaking to whoever is bullying or harassing you directly; perhaps in the presence of a friendly colleague who can help to prevent the discussion turning into another instance of bullying and who can most importantly witness to the fact that this conversation took place. 

In some cases, colleagues who’ve been bullying or harassing you may not realise the extent to which you’ve been upset and may apologise and agree not to repeat their behaviour. In any case, having a note of this meeting is a useful first step towards resolving the problem.

In general it is a very good idea to keep a note of any discrimination, writing down date, time, place, event and witnesses each and every time it happens. Later you may be required to be precise about so serious an allegation.

Should the person refuse to acknowledge or amend their behaviour, your next step is to write to someone in authority. Your line manager will usually be the right person to take this up with, unless of course they’re involved in bullying you. In this case, you may need to write to their superior, or to Human Resources.

We hold the view that oral complaints are often near useless as too often we have seen oral grievances being denied having been made at a later date.

Putting your complaint in writing is therefore key. Don’t send your letter by hand. Email is far better. If the English language is a problem, ask – there is lots of help available from many fair-minded people. It is our experience that most British people abhor discrimination.

Once you’ve made an official complaint about harassment or bullying, your employer is obliged to take action: investigate your complaint and make sure that where bullying or harassment is taking place that they take every reasonable step to make it stop.

If your employer is unwilling or unable to stop the bullying or harassment, it may then be time to take legal action. Talk to Leszek Werenowski.

If your employer has failed to take action to prevent you being bullied or harassed in the workplace, you should speak to Leszek Werenowski as soon as possible. That’s because employment tribunal cases require you to act within three months of the last act of abusive treatment. 

Were you decide to proceed with an employment tribunal claim for bullying or harassment in the workplace, the first stage is to inform the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), who will offer early conciliation in an attempt to resolve the issue. We can do this for you. Where this hasn’t been successful after another month, ACAS will give you a certificate to state that the mandatory period of conciliation has ended, and you can take your claim to an employment tribunal.

Leszek Werenowski is here to support and guide you throughout this process, and can also advise you on seeking damages in the County Court for damage to your mental or physical health, as well on seeking redress at an employment tribunal for constructive dismissal, should you feel unable to keep working in the same abusive environment any longer.

Unlawful deduction of wages

Unlawful deduction of wages and holiday pay claims

There wasn’t anything in the document provided.

“I recommend Leszek Werenowski, he won our claim in the Employment Tribunal after a long fierce fight.” - Zbigniew B

LESZEK WERENOWSKI

Leszek Werenowski - specialist employment lawyer/solicitor for teh Polish community in the UK

Leszek Werenowski has been a qualified solicitor for over 30 years. He is a Higher Rights Advocate and a qualified Mediator. Leszek Werenowski speaks Polish and frequently takes cases from first instruction to final conclusion in the Employment Tribunal at trial, or further, to an appeal if necessary.

“I understand that disputes with your employer can be difficult and stressful. I have a high success rate and work very hard to achieve the best result for you.  I believe that most employees are reasonable and provided you can prove your claim, many but not all, claims often settle.”

Why hire me?

Claims for unfair dismissal and especially claims for discrimination are complicated. Knowledge of the rules and the law is necessary to advance a successful claim. Without professional help it is very difficult to succeed in the more complicated cases especially since most employers will retain professional help from a solicitor and or a specialist employment law barrister. Having professional help on your side makes all the difference. As we explain below securing professional legal help is easier than you might think.

What's the next step?

We offer a free 30 minute telephone consultation in Polish, where very often we are able to provide solutions to employment law problems without the matter having to go any further. Should a dispute remain  unresolved we are able to both advise you, and to represent you in a claim in the employment tribunal where will we will look after you from the very beginning until the matter is satisfactorily concluded.

Call leszek today!

Call Leszek today for your FREE consultation: (+44) 7753 607 128

Damages Based Agreement

Like most lawyers our fees are charged at £200 per hour. An unfair dismissal claim on average involves approximately 50 hours of work from start to finish although every case is different.  A discrimination claim is often more complicated and involves approximately 60 to 70 hours of work, from first instruction to final conclusion at trial. However please be aware that the time spent working on a claim varies, as each case is different.

We appreciate that if you have lost your job funding a claim is difficult in such circumstances. We offer, in some circumstances, subject to terms and conditions, and where the claim has reasonable prospects for success, a damages based agreement. This involves paying a registration fee of £150 and then no payment until your claim is won, or settled.  At such stage we then charge a fee of 35% of your settlement/judgment sum. Should your claim fail however no further fee is charged.

Blog

Play Video
Play Video

Contact

ADDRESS

Suite 411 Wellington House 90-92 Butt Road Colchester CO3 3DA. Parking is available.